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Maryland BOE Releases School Size Report

July 20th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland State Board Of Education has published a report on school size which addresses the age old question:  “How big is too big?”

The study was done to determine at what capacity schools become both less efficient and less cost effective.  While not recommending all schools be built to a specific size, it does say that no school should be built that exceeds the following student populations:

Elementary schools at 700;  Middle schools at 900 and High schools at 1700.

According to the report, there are 74 schools in Maryland above the mentioned limits, and recommended incentives to districts to encourage reducing the size of such facilities.

No school in Allegany County exceeds the recommended limits, but there has been debate on whether combining Allegany with Fort Hill High School in Cumberland would create a student population that would exceed such a number that would cause a decline in the quality of education.

The current combined population is a little over 1400 students, or about 300 less than the maximum recommended for high schools in the study.  On the other hand, plans for a new Allegany High School are presently being reviewed by a state consultant with local school officials hoping for a quick turnaround so the project can be put out to bid.

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